All art is destructive filled with lies and more damned lies… – Art, Artists and Paintings a review by Goff James


Goff James Fragments Of The Artist’s Subconscious, 2018

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

Berthold Brecht

“Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system that…[can]…tell the old culture what is beginning to happen.”

Marshall Mcluhan

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Image Credit

© Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937 

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“Art-making has an alchemical effect on the imagination. It awakens the senses and sharpens insights…[enabling one]…to think in symbols, metaphors, and to de-code complexity…[and]… perceive the world in new ways.”

Linda Naiman 


Image Credit

© Tyeb Mehta, Mahishasura, 1994

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The creative desire and the artisans’ power of expression is pandemic across the globe. Possessing varying influences and interpretations that have regard of ethnological and geographical factors as well as societal development of different “civilization’s” cultures and ethnicities. Such influences can be both transformative and manipulative; possessed with political, historical, mythological, archaic, academic or abstract intent.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

Hans Hofmann.



Image Credit

© Yi Jaegwan, Portrait of Kang Io, (Joseon Dynasty, Date Unstated)

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“The nature of … [art]…is to persuade, to convince, to enter into us through our pores.”

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres


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Image Credit

© Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1981

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“To create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

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How the hell does one represent an abstract concept… – Art, Artists and Paintings a review by Goff James


Goff James, Subconscious, 2018

“There is a powerful need for symbolism…”

Kenzo Tange

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Image Credit

James Ensor, Masks Confronting Death,1888, © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SABAM, Brussels

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Image Credit

© Sayed Haider Raza, Peetabh, 2012

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Concepts and the use of symbolism are a complex world wide phenomena. 

Many put forward the definition that symbols can suggest;

“…ideas and emphasize the meaning behind the forms, lines, shapes, and colours…[used].”

 That which in the Tate’s definition of terms as an;

“…imaginary dream worlds populated with mysterious figures from literature, the bible, and …mythology.[fired] by…psychological content, particularly erotic and mystical.”

From a western perspective the word “symbol” itself derives from the Latin symbolum, a symbol of faith, and symbolus, a sign of recognition, in turn from classical Greek συμβόλον symbolon, an object cut in half constituting a sign of recognition when reassembled. The Asian Art Museum broadens this view by stating that;

“…an otherwise time-bound object…[can be transformed]…into one that symbolically creates eternal effects.”

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Image Credit

Mariko Mori, “Compulsive Beauty” | © 360b / Alamy Stock Photo

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“It is through symbols that… [humankind]…consciously or unconsciously live, work and…  [have their]…being.”

Thomas Carlyle 


Image Credit

© Frida Kahlo, Roots,1943

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“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”

Frida Kahlo

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What the hell is meant by inclusivity in an art historical world?


© Goff James, Icons, 2018

“Non-Western images are not well described in terms of art, and neither are medieval paintings that were made in the absence of humanist ideas of artistic value”.

James Elkins

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© Dilara Begum Jolly, Untitled (2014), Bangladesh

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“A man doesn’t know what it’s like to be a woman; it’s that simple.”

Tracey Emin


© Utagawa Hiroshige, Fujikawa, a Village in the Mountains Formerly Called Miyajiyama, 1855, Japan

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A comprehensive definition of art implies that artistic works have existed for almost as long as humankind from early pre-historic art to contemporary art. Art is a global phenomena and cannot just be restricted to the concept of modern western societies nor any innate patriarchal ideology .


© Andrew Rogers, Many Lives

Image Source

“We perceive our existence in space and time; we are here now and life is current but in this world where technology is constantly advancing, human nature is not. It is often the values of the past that are most relevant today.”

and …

can be contemplated from two points of view- the mythological subject and that of the beautifully constructed …… form which requires a concentration of great ingenuity to bring into being a form from which springs new life. We are carried over great time and space from ancient cultures and civilizations. It is an exploration of meanings and powers from the past and their meaning for the future. From an artefact of an ancient culture that has meanings and powers from the past, through to the unspoilt vistas that has meaning for the future.”

Andrew Rogers


© Joana Choumali, Resilients, (Date Unstated), Côte d’Ivoire

Image Source

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Art and all that bullshit… – Art, Artists and Paintings a review by Goff James


Goff James, Victims, 2018

“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.”

Jerzy Kosinski


©Jeff Frost, California On Fire, Detail – Video(2min.04sec.)2016, part of visual installation/Photography Exibition entitled Beyond the Air We Breath, MOCA Bangkok

“A picture is a poem without words”



© Ansel Adams, Moon And Half Dome, 1960, Image Source –

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it”

Ansel Adams

When one thinks and speaks of Art, the first and broadest sense is the one that remains close to the older Latin word “tecnicus” meaning, which roughly translates to “skill”, “craft” or “technique”. Whereas the Greek word τέχνη “techně” is often mistranslated as “art,” but implies mastery of any sort of craft.

Consequently Art and Form can be viewed as a “holistic all embracing one” and the impact it might or might not have on the psyche of the instigator or the onlooker.

Mother and Child 1934 by Dame Barbara Hepworth 1903-1975

Dame Barbara Hepworth
Mother and Child 1934
© Bowness

“Sculpture is not the mere cutting of the form of anything in stone; it is the cutting of the effect of it.”

John Ruskin

Mobile c.1932 by Alexander Calder 1898-1976

© Alexander Calder
Mobile c.1932, private collection, Image Source –

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

Thomas Merton

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The power of imagination and creativity as processes within the human spirit and cultures… – Art, Artists and Paintings a review by Goff James


Goff James, Untitled, 2010, Copyright © Artist
All rights reserved

“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

Stephen Covey


Tawee Rajaneekorn, Prostitutes Under The Tree, 2005, ©Tawee Rajaneekorn, Location MOCA, Bangkok

Tawee Rajaneekorn

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

Albert Einstein


Tawee Rajaneekorn, Belief and Faith, 2007, ©Tawee Rajaneekorn, Location MOCA, Bangkok

Art, form and creativity refer to the visible elements of a piece, independent of their meaning. When one looks at a particular image the formal elements contained within it are made up of colour, dimension, lines, mass, shape, etc., while the feelings of mystery and intrigue the piece evokes are informal products of the onlooker’s imagination.


Tinnakorn Kasornsuwan, House Warming Party, 2011 ©Tinnakorn Kasornsuwan, Location MOCA, Bangkok

Tinnakorn Kasornsuwan

“The imagination is a powerful tool. An artist can use it to show others the world as he sees it and to bring others into his dream of what the world could be.”

David R. Becker


Kiettisak Chanonnart, Haunted Subconscious Mind 1, 1981, ©Kiettisak Chanonnart, Location, MOCA, Bangkok

Kiettisak Chanonnart

“Creativity is putting your imagination to work, and it’s produced the most extraordinary results in human culture.”

Ken Robinson


Sriwan Janehuttakarnkit, Dancing, 2011,  ©Sriwan Janehuttakarnkit, Location, MOCA, Bangkok

Sriwan Janehuttakarnkit

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.” 

Maria Montessori


Tawee Rajaneekorn, Screaming Forest, 2014, ©Tawee Rajaneekorn, Location MOCA, Bangkok

MOCA, Bangkok

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Artistic Representation – The processes of conceptualizing, visualizing, interpreting and creating…

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Goff James, Untitled, 2013

“Art cannot be modern. Art is primordially eternal.”

Egon Schiele


Hand Print Painting, Leang Pettakere, C.35,000 BCE,

Image Credit – Unstated

Source –

Link – Hand Print Painting

“Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.”

Victor Pinchuk

Conceptualizing, visualizing, interpreting and creating through image making is primevally basic for art and the artistic process. Such images were created in the period before the invention of formal writing, and when human populations were migrating and expanding across the globe. The first human artistic representations, markings with ground red ochre, seem to have occurred about 100,000 B.C. in African Rock Art. This chronology may be more an artefact of the limitations of archaeological evidence than a true picture of when humans first used form to create art.

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Rock Art, Blombos Cave, South Africa, c.100,000-77,000 BCE

Image Credit – Unstated

Source –

LinkBlombos Cave

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

Henry Ward Beecher


Cueva de las Manos, Perito Moreno, Argentina, c.13,000–9,000 BCE

Image Credit – Unstated

Source –

Link – Cueva de las Manos

“Painting is self-discovery. Every good artist paints what he is.”

Jackson Pollock


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Semantics, Syntax and Pragmatism – The processes of finding order…


Goff James, He, 2018

“Uncritical semantics is the myth of a museum in which the exhibits are meanings and the words are labels. To switch languages is to change the labels.”

Willard Van Orman Quine


Barbara Kruger,
Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989

Image Credit © Barbara Kruger


“Each person is an idiom unto himself, an apparent violation of the syntax of the species.”

Gordon W Allport


Thomas Hirschorn, Too Too – Much Much, 2010 (Installation – Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens)

Image Credit © Thomas Hirschhorn / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY


“A photograph shouldn’t be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.” 

Amit Kalantri

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John Baldessari, Two Whales (With People), 2010

Image Credit © John Baldessari


Through analysis, comparison, symbolism and emphasizing of the visual elemental composition of  art forms enables humans to possess the essential mechanisms of perceiving, comprehending, understanding and interpreting. The relevant  extracted data is then set out in terms of measured quantities and the found order is expressed in the individual’s analysis of the differing relationships of the inherent structures of that particular form. Whether through communicating using semantic, syntactic or pragmatic processes.

“Humans see what they want to see.”

Rick Riordan

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Marcel Duchamp
1917, replica 1964

Image Credit © Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP Paris and DACS, London 2018


“All that can fall within the compass of human understanding, being either, first, the nature of things, as they are in themselves, their relations, and their manner of operation: or, secondly, that which man himself ought to do, as a rational and voluntary agent, for the attainment of any end, especially happiness: or, thirdly, the ways and means whereby the knowledge of both the one and the other of these is attained and communicated;…”

John Locke

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Umberto Boccioni. Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913 (cast 1931)

Image Credit © Umberto Boccioni, MoMA, Photograph © Unstated


Further Reading

Semantics and Art

Pragmatism and Art

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